Warriors' sights set on end of season
Five section place-winners are sprinkled throughout this season’s Brainerd Warriors lineup.
Among those five are state meet participants Dan Babineau and Nate Adams, who will anchor a Brainerd roster that on paper has the potential to be a contender in the Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-3A tournament.
Brainerd’s fate depends on the overall team’s development, especially the lighter weights.
“Our strength looks to be through the middle weights,” said Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran. “It seems like everyone weighs between 140 and 160 pounds. We’re a little light in the lower weights, but in the upper weights we’ll hopefully fill most of the spots.
“We’ll see where we’re at. We have some kids like Casey (Biever) and James (Weiss) who picked up some really good experience last year so that’s going to help us. We’ll be able to compete up there.
“Our lighter or lower weights will be a struggle early on, but we don’t expect to be at our best at the beginning of the season. We’re shooting and building toward February. That’s when things need to happen.”
Babineau finished with a 27-14 record at 119 pounds last year. He placed second in the Section 8-3A individual tournament and went 2-2 at state.
“Dan has a lot of experience as he’s been wrestling varsity for a few years now,” Boran said. “He had a great season last year. At the state tournament he was a match away from earning a state medal. He’s hopefully going to keep rolling. He’s up a weight class right now, but he’s a good wrestler. We’re looking for some leadership from him on the mat. He’s a guy we can go to,”
Adams advanced to state at 152 pounds after finishing second in the section tournament. He ended the year with a 17-9 record.
“Nate’s a senior captain and with his experience we’re looking for some big things from him this year,” Boran said. “Our other senior captain is Shane White. He was 16-5 last year and he’s a solid wrestler. He’ll do well for us this season and give us some leadership.”
Luke Boran posted a 24-12 record last season and placed fourth in the section. Levi Rubin also placed fourth in the section and finished the season 7-4.
“Luke is another guy who has wrestled with us for many years and he’s gotten bigger,” Boran said. “We’ll see where he fits in with us. We have a lot of guys through those middle weights and we’ll see how he stacks up.
“Levi battled an injury early last year. It held him out of most of the season and he never really got into that groove. He is one of our most talented wrestlers. He is a very good wrestler so we’ll have to keep him healthy.”
Biever was 14-12 last season and finished sixth in the section. Dillon Solid finished with a 5-18 mark, Jace Engelmann was 11-18, Weiss went 4-22, Sam Adams was 5-16 and Tommy Schlosser went 22-15.
Early section favorites are the Little Falls Flyers and Bemidji Lumberjacks said Mike Boran. He also said the conference should be wide open with Willmar and St. Cloud Apollo leading the way. But Boran is more interested in how the team looks at the end of the season.
“It all starts with coming into practice and working hard and working to get better,” he said. “We can’t get frustrated if we have some down days.
“We have a lot of inexperienced kids at the lower weights who will be making that jump from middle school or even junior varsity wrestling to varsity. That takes time and I think we have a group that will stay with it and by the end of the season we’ll be pretty good.”
Seniors: Dale MacAurther, Nate Adams, Shane White, Spencer Kangas, Tyler Dvorsak, Tyler Spangler
Juniors: Bryton Mutz, Casey Biever, Dan Babineau, Jace Engelmann, Jeff Flickinger, Josh Schultz, Kory Anderson, Levi Rubin
Sophomores: Dillon Solid, James Weiss, Sam Adams
Freshmen: Cole DeRosier, Jake Zelinske, Ryan Arntson, Tommy Schlosser
Eighth-grader: Drew Breun, Dylan Crandall
Seventh-grader: Andy Schlosser
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.